The time has arrived to make a career change. Your previous full-time job ceased to deliver the satisfaction it once did. Now, work has become tedious. Drudgery set in. And that bi-weekly paycheck isn’t too impressive. Rather than remain stuck in a dull, unrewarding job, you opt to make a career change.
Do you possess all the skills necessary for a career change? If not, getting hired won’t be easy. If someone does hire you, can you retain your new career when it turns out you lack necessary skills?
Before finding yourself accepting downbeat answers to those questions, take some preparatory steps to develop the skills required for your new career path. Some talents are general. Others are specific to the new career. All skills do prove valuable. Here are a few to master:
Is there any career in which being better organized isn’t necessary? No matter where you work or what you do, you must possess organizational skills. Staying in the same job for several years, however, may put someone on “organization skills autopilot.” That is, you maintain good organization abilities in your current duties through familiarity with the job and work environment. Will you possess the same skills in a new position?
Brush up on basic organization skills. Read about different strategies for improved organization. Look into what constitutes necessary organization skills in your sought-after new career. Lean those new skills. And don’t wait until you start the job to do so. Enhance the skills right away. This way, you don’t present deficiencies in the new position. Also, explore formal education opportunities to overcome a lack of experience. Adapt education training programs could help here.
Social Media Promotions
Communications skills long expanded beyond writing memos and sending correctly composed emails. Employees and managers must know how to communicate on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social media platforms. Using the platforms to send a generic message isn’t enough. Social media sites remain active venues to promote your employer and yourself.
Also, be sure to learn proper social media etiquette. Hardworking professionals lost their career due to ill-advised social media posts both on and off the job. Review the better steps for social media behavior in a particular field. This way, you avoid headaches when making a — hopefully — smooth transition to a new career.
Meeting Deadlines and Staying on Schedule
Consider these two skills a byproduct of better time management. When you make the best use of your time, your ability to meet deadlines improves dramatically. In a new career, however, some things may drag time management skills. Creating and sticking to a “to-do list” isn’t tough when you’ve been working in the same job for ten years. Performing well in a new job may come with the requirement of conducting research before completing a task. Reviewing something online adds precious minutes or more to the time necessary to finish a job. Lack of experience can automatically make doing something take longer. Factor all these added steps into your time management plans. This way, you can work on speeding up things in other areas to make up for lost time.
You may not need skills in the actual work associated with developing a new app, but you should understand the steps an app developer takes. No matter the industry, apps play an important role. Even if the app doesn’t directly sell a service or product, an app helps with the promotion of a business. Not everyone is familiar with the app development process though. Maybe their past employers didn’t see the value in apps. Regardless of why you lack knowledge about app development, take time to learn about it. You don’t want to appear lost if/when your position requires working with an app development team.
Telecommuting and Working Alone
Teamwork consistently stands as a skill required in almost any job. Moving into a new career requires enhancing the nuisances to work effectively in a different environment with a new team. Many already realize this. Not everyone comes prepared for working alone away from a job site. Thanks to advanced technology and software, workers perform their duties from home or even with an iPad in airports, coffee shops, and other locations. Brush up on how to use your devices for telecommuting. Figure out how to stay motivated when outside of a formal work environment. Doing so supports productivity.
Crisis management represents another wing of public relations. No matter how careful a company is, publicity disasters occur. How everyone involved handles a crisis often determines the range of its damage. Knowing how to respond to customer and press inquiries along with figuring out how to institute face-saving changes mitigate the fallout. Anyone capable of contributing crisis management skills may prove valuable in a tough situation. Turn a crisis into an opportunity and set yourself apart from more experienced colleagues.
Critical Observational Analysis
What’s going on around you? Observing what others in the workplace do gives you insights into what defines acceptable performance. Insights gained from being an “active listener and observer” reveals much about the actual responsibilities of employers and managers. The company’s mission should become more apparent to you after engaging in careful observation. Passive observance and jotting down notes, however, won’t be enough here. New hires must critically analyze everything occurring to attain a better understanding. Sharpen up on your critical analysis skills to gain a deeper understanding of all that you observe. Take that understanding an put it to use.
Nothing Without Effort
A career change represents a bold and risky step. Few like to step outside a career comfort zone. Anyone wishing to make a career change deserves accolades. The career change process involves more than accepting a new job. Your performance during the first year on the new job — with emphasis on the initial 90 days — commonly sets the stage for long-term success. Prepare yourself for the transition by building up necessary skills. Yes, this requires effort. The hard work may lead to feelings of renewed vigor upon starting a new career.